NHRC seeks resolution to Tarai turmoil

Forty-nine people were killed and 729 injured during the Madhes agitation

Kathmandu, November 1

National Human Rights Commission today pointed out that both the government and agitators were responsible for the violation of human rights of Nepali citizens.

Releasing its report on the ongoing agitation in the Tarai, NHRC has urged the government to resolve the problem immediately through serious dialogue and the agitating parties to withdraw the agitation soon to end rights violations.

NHRC has urged both the parties to immediately resolve the problem through dialogue in a responsible manner so that people can feel their rights are not violated.

It has also urged them to allow immediate resumption of schools and to initiate action against teachers involved in movements and to inform NHRC about the progress made and ensure conducive environment for journalists and rights activists to work freely and take action against those involved in attacking them.

The national rights body wants both sides to ensure people’s right to run business, industry, profession and continue with their job. It has also sought action against agitators and security personnel, who give offensive and instigating speeches and misbehave after identifying them.

After conducting research in 28 affected districts, NHRC had recommended that the government implement its suggestions and directions and that of the Supreme Court and OCHA and not to repeat incidents involving excessive use of force against agitators.

Besides, the government has also been urged to ensure free movement of people as indefinite strikes have affected every aspect of life.

It has also asked the government to ensure security in all rural areas by ending social crimes and also to ensure all necessary materials and equipment for security forces and to employ them only according to the laws.

The NHRC has urged the agitating parties to withdraw their movement because that has affected Nepal-India relations and Nepali citizens have been deprived of their basic rights.

“Agitators should resort to peaceful protests without using any kind of domestic weapons and materials including lathis, catapults, spears, axes and sickles and should maintain diplomatic norms and international laws as the protests at no-man’s land and use of Indian soil could affect Nepal’s relations with India.”

The NHRC has also urged all sections of the society not to express anything that could incite hatred in society and urged them to ensure social harmony.

The report said that 49 people were killed during the agitation and 729 were injured.

NHRC said children aged between 18 months and four years were killed and one person was killed by those who opposed the agitation. It said police had beaten and misbehaved with protesters.

It said indefinite curfew and declaration of riot-hit zones had affected people’s right to peaceful assembly. The extended general strike had also hit people’s right to movement and right to work. It said individuals’ houses were vandalised even when the areas were under curfew.

The report states that the country suffered economic loss to the tune of Rs 100 billion and economic, political and civil rights of people were affected. It added that the government too had violated the right to a hearing of those arrested for their alleged involvement in offences.